Yesterday we traveled a short distance north, into the Champlain Islands, to attend a concert by our much beloved women’s choir, Bella Voce. The concert centered on Robert De Cormier’s, They Called Her Moses, a cantata about the life of the indomitable Harriet Tubman. The music was accompanied by a multimedia presentation that gave context to the story. Bella Voce had asked Dr. De Cormier to rewrite the cantata for women’s choir, and the performance yesterday closed the world premiere weekend. The music was joyous, disturbing, and profoundly moving.
As we drove home post performance, we talked about our experience of the piece. On one hand, the music was immensely uplifting. On the other, the focus on the “Freedom Train” ignores the suffering created by Jim Crow laws, suffering that lasted almost a hundred years, and which threatens to be renewed by a new generation of Jim Crow laws. Continue reading
Sometimes the everyday seems odd indeed. Today is a lovely, if chilly, brightly sunlit spring day. Folks are out shopping. Economists are debating the direction and future of the economy and stock market. The major political parties are bickering, all the while ignoring the needs of the vast majority of the world’s people, to say nothing of Her plants and animals.
All this is occurring against a background of climate change. In the past few days we passed the mythical milestone of 400 parts per million of CO2. Of course, nothing happened to mark the milestone. There is a marked delay in the rise of CO2 and the response of the atmosphere. Even so, there is every reason to believe a response is coming shortly, although how the climate system will adapt is uncertain. Continue reading
Spring has come, bursting onto the landscape in an intense green fire. The woods have closed in, blanked in new leaf and, this morning, fog. The annual chorus of bird song greets us at 4:30 in the morning. The rich melodies of Aaron Copland’s iconic chamber music, Appalachian Spring, fill the classical music airwaves, providing a soundtrack to this eruption of color and song.
The force of Nature’s rush into Spring at the higher latitudes is awe-inspiring. No wonder we speak of the birth of Spring, noting the rush to space and light that seems to mark the arrival of all new life. There is waiting, anticipation, urgency, then a full headlong charge into being. Continue reading
Spring came to Vermont this week. It’s been in the 70′s most days, with full sun; the landscape is dry and wildfires are increasingly common. Monday the trees leafed out. No, really. Many of the maples leafed out completely in one day! Then, the wildflowers popped up and bloomed.The Green World literally burst into activity. Twice we had maple creemies; once we biked to the creemie stand down on the waterfront! From the shaman’s point of view, we are all beneficiaries of this livening. How do you connect with the rushing into being that is Spring? Continue reading
Today is Earth Day. I remember the first Earth Day and the immense impact it had on our national environmental policy. That seems a long while ago.
My teachers have mostly followed the Soft Path, the way of the Feminine. This is an Earth based way, and the first responsibility of those on the path is to care for the community of all beings. Community is a much used, and increasingly, ill-defined term. Traditionally, a community was a small group of people who lived in a limited range, and all the other beings and organisms who shared that range. Those people likely shared a worldview and a set of cultural practices, and if someone from outside the community chose to join, he or she probably adopted the values and practices of the community. Continue reading
The weather turned cold Thursday. Friday I was awakened by sleet beating against our very well insulated home. Sleet, snow and freezing rain fell most of the day. Yesterday was raw. I went out in hopes of taking a few photos, but the day grew progressively darker. The last three evenings the cat and I spent curled before the fire. This morning, the seeds Jennie planted in the studio are sprouting, there are bird calls in the air, and the cat has ventured out into a warmer world, twice. Continue reading
Shrine, Chennai, India
We arose to a relatively warm, thickly overcast morning. Yesterday and Saturday Jennie worked in the yard, which is now beautifully groomed. I joined briefly in the endless task of trying to control the spread of our inherited patches of Burning Bush. Saturday evening we went to a marvelous concert of vocal music by Social Band. Ours was a full weekend.
Jennie and I have been quietly working with the spirits of the land where we live. This is a tad challenging as we live in a residential neighborhood and all ceremony is public. My teachers always said one should be polite, humble, and do ceremony anyway. This simple advice turns out to be remarkably complex in practice. Continue reading